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U.S. Statement at the UPR of Bosnia and Herzegovina
November 5, 2014

20th Session of the Universal Periodic Review
Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America

November 5, 2014

Thank you Mr. President,

The United States warmly welcomes the delegation from Bosnia and Herzegovina to the UPR Working Group and congratulates them on the completion of their national report and presentation today.

We congratulate Bosnia and Herzegovina on recent elections, which provided a genuine opportunity for voters to be heard, and urge authorities to investigate and correct reported irregularities and weaknesses in the election process.

We note Bosnia and Herzegovina’s acceptance of our recommendation on police training and prison conditions in the first UPR cycle, but we remain concerned about ongoing reports of serious police mistreatment of suspects during detention and interrogation.

We also note the continued problem of children, particularly ethnic Roma, forced to engage in child labor and begging.

Finally, the unresolved issue of refugees’ rights to return to their pre-war homes remains a problem.

Bearing this in mind, we recommend that Bosnia and Herzegovina:

1. Provide training to police officers about unacceptable conduct and adequately punish all cases of ill-treatment;

2. Amend laws to explicitly prohibit all forms of human trafficking, with specific focus on child labor and forced begging; and

3. Reinvigorate efforts to fulfill Article VII of the Dayton Accords, guaranteeing refugees the right to return to their homes of origin.

Thank you Mr. President.